Cornell History: First entrance exams
October 06, 1868
Cornell officials administer entrance examinations for the university’s inaugural class. After receiving more than 2,000 letters of interest from young men wishing to enroll at the new university, the administration welcomed prospective students to take tests in spelling, grammar, arithmetic and geography. Students took the exam in the cellar of Cornell Library, a public library established by Ezra Cornell in downtown Ithaca. They were reported to have fought for space with enough light to read. The 412 successful applicants started classes the next day.